JoshuaPundit has a plan to help President Bush climb out of the hole he’s dug for himself:
The biggest plus you have, Mr. President, is your image with the average American as a regular guy, and not one of the elites. People perceived this as an inside deal that was cooked up for the benefit of your Arab pals at the expense of America’s security. And I don’t think many people bought the line that you were unaware of it until it was a done deal.
Neither did they agree with you that the UAE is a loyal ally against Islamic terrorism. Or our ‘eternal friends’ the Saudis, for that matter. Most Americans get a foul taste in their mouths every time you utter that turgid little phrase. The Saudis and the other Sunni autocracies might be useful at keeping the oil taps turned on at record high prices, or reassuring allies like India that the oil flow will continue no matter what happens with Iran, but friends? Uh uh.
Let’s not confuse a relationship of convenience with friendship, Mr. President. Real alliances come out of shared values, not convenience.
This is an ideological war as much as anything else, and you owe the American people some candor in that regard.
The Saudis have been exporting hardline Wahabi-style Islam with its jihadist rhetoric to the US for years through the co-opting of America’s mosques, madrassahs and mideast studies departments in our universities, and do it to this day. The roster of ex-US legislators and diplomats on the Arab payroll as lobbyists is astounding and pervasive. And virtually every radical Islamic group in the USA receives funding from these people.
I would also advise you to figure out what you’re planning on doing about Iran, if you haven’t already. Iran was not problem of your making, but it popped its ugly head out two years ago, during your watch, and thus far the only action you seem to have taken has been to let the EU3 muddle around in useless negotiations and to push for the referral of Iran to the UN for sanctions that would be meaningless even if you managed to get past a Russian veto. This is not the kind of problem that can be deferred to the next administration without a major risk to America’s security.
This is advice the President would do well to heed, but anyone who has his ear is unlikely to say anything of the kind. I wish that hardliners like JoshuaPundit could get his attention the way Cindy Sheehan can.
It’s incisive and important commentary. Go over and read the whole thing: “What Bush needs to do to come back”.